In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught what’s often called, “The Beatitudes.” I like to call the beatitudes, “The way the followers of Christ ought to be.” This morning I noticed something about the cardboard box that contains the spezial salz, (Special Salt), that we use in the dishwasher for effective dish-washing. The box is literally being consumed or eaten up by the salt inside (From the inside out). Take a close look at the photograph I snapped this morning and you will see how the salt is affecting the box. When you buy the salt at the supermarket, the packaging is smooth but over time the salt begins to change the outside of the package, wearing away the color. For a moment I thought about the box being the world and the salt being those who follow Jesus. In His famous sermon, the Lord said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13, NASB).
So should the followers of Jesus be like the box or should we be like the salt inside? Shouldn’t we be affective in the society where we live? Shouldn’t we be agents of spiritual change in the world? The answer has to be a resounding Yes and Amen because the Lord said we ARE “the salt of the earth.” But there’s a problem. We often look more like the box (The world), than we do the salt. Instead of us affecting the world, the world has negative effects on us. When this happens we lose our appeal, we lose our flavor and we don’t become agents of spiritual change. The result is we become good for nothing and tasteless; rendered ineffective and “good for anything” but to be thrown out, discarded and “trampled under foot” (13).
Thankfully, the grace of God does not allow us to stay in this predicament. We can, by His enablement be salty, we can be effective! So how is the follower of Christ to be as the salt? Louis Barberi Jr. writes that believers should “create a thirst for greater information,” … that believers are preservatives in society (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the New Testament, p. 29). I am in complete agreement!
I think believers should model Christ in such a way that the Gospel (Good News) is not only attractive to those who don’t know Jesus, but it’s transformative to society.
How can we begin to be agents of change in the society in which we live? Jesus’ Sermon in Matthew 5 is instructive”: First, we humble ourselves before the Lord by being “poor in spirit” (3), this is our surrender to Christ as Lord, realizing that we are unable and incapable of saving ourselves. Second, we are sensitive to our sins by mourning over them in repentance but we also mourn over the condition of those around us (4). It’s simply not enough to pray for people but we must get involved in their lives and minister to them wherever they are at. Maybe you, like me, live in a place where wrong is called right. So often we shake our heads and our fists at the sins of “others” when we should be doing something more, getting involved in meaningful, Christ-honouring ways to help them turn to Jesus. Next, we must hunger and thirst after righteousness and the Lord’s promise is that we will be “satisfied” (5). We should be so hungry and thirsty for God that it is evident to those outside and inside the faith. Our faith should be contagious to others. We must also by merciful to those around us because God has certainly been merciful to us (7). Each of us sin, all of us fall short and we need God’s mercy. We must continue by being “pure in heart” with the right motivations and actions (8). We must offer the peace of Christ to the world by being “peacemakers” but also understand that it will bring about suffering and persecution (9-11). These things are normal and a part of the Christian life. In-fact the times of suffering serve as a reminder of just how much we need Jesus. We will be misunderstood and rejected, but this too is what following Jesus is about. Finally, we affect the world by shining our Light for Christ even when it may cost us or it’s unpopular in the world. Remember that we are also called the “Light of the world” (5:14). When we love Jesus with everything we are shining the light and we naturally love people in the process. Today, let me encourage those who follow Jesus to be effective as the salt in the package, this is the right thing to do. Now let’s go and transform the world as the Salt of the earth and give God the glory!
International Baptist Church Munich
Innere Wiener Straße 34, 81667 München
U-Bahn: Max-Weber Plaz (U4 or U5)
Tram: 16 (Stop Wienerplatz) 15, 25, 19 (Max-Weber Platz)
S-Bahn: S1-8 (Rosenheimer Platz)